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Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many of his Department's contracts with its suppliers are under review as a result of the recently announced reductions in public expenditure; and what the monetary value is of all such contracts which are under review. 
Mr Paterson: The reductions in public expenditure recently announced by HM Treasury do not impact directly on any current policy or contractual responsibilities of the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). No contracts between the Northern Ireland Office and current suppliers are, therefore, under review as a result of the recent announcement. The Department does, however, keep procurement under review at all times to ensure value for money.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many officials in his Department are working on renegotiating contracts for the supply of goods and services to the Department as a result of recently announced reductions in public spending; what savings are expected to accrue to his Department from such renegotiations; how much expenditure his Department will incur on such renegotiations; and when such renegotiations will be completed. 
Mr Paterson: The reductions in public expenditure recently announced by HM Treasury do not impact directly on any current policy or contractual responsibilities of the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). No contracts between the Northern Ireland Office and current suppliers are, therefore, under review and no staff are engaged on renegotiation as a result of the recent announcement. The Department does, however, keep procurement under review at all times to ensure value for money.
Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for West Bromwich East of 7 June 2010, Official Report, column 12W, on departmental mobile phones, what the (a) purchase cost of the handset, (b) network provider, (c) type of tariff and (d) name of the supplier is of the mobile phone issued to each Minister in her Department. 
Mrs Gillan: The mobile telephones issued by my Department to Ministers are obtained through the central procurement arrangements provided by the Ministry of Justice. Under this arrangement, the telephones are on the standard Government tariff operated by Vodafone, and incur a purchase cost of £50 and a monthly line rental charge of £2 plus VAT. The current telephones are made by Nokia.
Mrs Spelman: The Government's aim of moving towards a zero waste economy includes reducing the amount of recyclable and biodegradable waste we send to landfill. How best to do this will be part of the review of waste policies I announced last week but my instinct is not to introduce an outright ban because of the unintended consequences this might cause. There is an economic and environmental imperative to reduce the amount going to landfill and to recover as much valuable material as we can.
Richard Benyon: I made a statement on 21 June 2010, Official Report, column 4WS, on inland waterways policy for England and Wales. The Government consider civil society has a valuable role to play in delivering public services as part of the big society. We will be looking, in detail, at options for a third sector model which would be appropriate for British Waterways, including the possible inclusion of Environment Agency navigations. No decisions will be taken until after the spending review.
Mr Paice: We intend to do considerably better than the previous Government. We are committed to ensuring that food procured by Government Departments, and eventually the whole public sector, meets British or equivalent standards of production wherever this can be achieved without increasing overall costs. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has written to ministerial colleagues asking them to look closely at how they can help to meet this objective.
Biodiversity is one of my highest priorities. I will be taking action domestically, through a White Paper on the natural environment and will promote green spaces and wildlife corridors to restore and increase
biodiversity. At an international level, I will ensure the UK shows leadership in this International Year of Biodiversity by working to achieve a global agreement on a new biodiversity framework at the meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya in October.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made of the effects of the eruptions of the active Icelandic volcano on the natural environment in this country. 
Richard Benyon: DEFRA has been assessing the impact of volcanic ash from Iceland's volcano on the natural environment. Air, water and herbage samples from across the UK are being analysed for elevated levels of contaminants from the ash. Results indicate levels well below those which may cause adverse effects. DEFRA is monitoring the situation closely and making plans for further volcanic activity, including eruptions of greater magnitude.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will take steps to reduce the number of households spending more than 3% of their income on water and sewerage charges. 
Richard Benyon: The Government are examining the recommendations made in the Walker review of charging for household water and sewerage services, ahead of taking decisions on next steps. This includes the recommendations on water affordability.
Mr Paice: The most important change needed to encourage young people to enter farming is to ensure that the industry is publicly supported and recognised as important by the Government. The Government have pledged to encourage increased food production and development of our food processing sector.
In addition DEFRA supports Fresh Start, an industry-led initiative to encourage and support new entrants into farming, including those involved in family succession, and to help established farmers think about how they can develop their business in the future in the light of CAP reform.
DEFRA also supports the industry-led Agri-Skills Strategy which aims to promote the importance of skills in making a profitable and sustainable industry fully capable of meeting the demands and challenges of agriculture in the 21st century. Increasing the profitability and professionalism of farming will make it an increasingly attractive career choice for young people.
Mr Paice: An assessment of UK Food Security was published in August 2009 (and updated in January 2010) which shows that the UK enjoys a high level of food security. It is one of our priorities to ensure a secure, environmentally sustainable and healthy supply of food in the face of future challenges.
Mr Paice: The UK is a strong supporter of EU legislation to eliminate the flow of illegal timber onto the market-commonly called the Due Diligence Regulation. The EU is close to agreement on a strong regulation that will include a prohibition to prevent illegal timber from entering the EU market. We are working with other EU member states, the Commission, and the European Parliament to finalise this agreement.
The UK is also providing support to voluntary bilateral trade agreements between timber producing countries and the EU. These agreements require timber imports from signatory countries to be licensed to prove that they have been legally harvested.
Andrew Selous: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, answering for the House of Commons Commission how many staff of the House Service in each Department are remunerated at a rate above that of hon. Members. 
Details of the staff pay bands and staff pay arrangements are available on the parliamentary intranet. The salaries of Members of the Management Board are disclosed in the House of Commons: Administration annual accounts.
Jo Swinson: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, answering for the House of Commons Commission whether the House of Commons Commission has considered the merits of enabling the Official Report to accept written answers to parliamentary questions by e-mail. 
Sir Stuart Bell: The Commission recognise the merits of securing more efficient ways of transferring written material, including written answers to parliamentary questions, from Government Departments to the House. The Official Report and PICT participated in a pilot scheme, led by the Leader of the House's Office, to establish within Government Departments a common, structured means of transferring written material to the House, but that initiative was unsuccessful.
House officials involved in the Procedural Data Programme are now vigorously pursuing a new approach, with the aim of establishing a secure electronic means of supplying questions to, and receiving answers from, Government Departments.
The House expects to realise the following benefits from e-delivery of questions and answers: less use of paper; less reliance on scanning technology, and thus reduced support and maintenance overheads; less time required to process hard copies of answers in the Official Report, generating staffing efficiencies; and increased speed of publication.
Jo Swinson: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, answering for the House of Commons Commission what recent representations the House of Commons Commission has received from the UK Youth Parliament on holding an annual sitting in the Chamber. 
Sir Stuart Bell: Although the Commission has not received any such representations, the UK Youth Parliament has raised this possibility with the Speaker and others. Preliminary discussions are taking place about another meeting in the Chamber in the autumn. Such a meeting will require the approval of the House, as occurred on 16 March 2009.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his most recent estimate is of the cost of the A5-M1 link; what previous estimates have been made of the cost of the scheme; and when each such estimate was made. 
Mike Penning [holding answer 22 June 2010]: Due to the uncertainty of certain costs when building a road, the Highways Agency calculates the maximum and minimum forecast spend on the scheme to create a range estimate. A figure in the middle of the range estimate is then used for planning purposes. The current scheme range estimate for the A5-M1 Link is £134 million to £189 million with a mid range estimate of £162 million. This is based on a detailed review of scheme costs in September 2009.
In relation to previous estimates, the July 2008 scheme range estimate was £121 million to £156 million with a mid range estimate of £139 million. This was based on M1 J10-13 being constructed as a widening scheme.
The March 2009 scheme range estimate was £160 million to £218 million with a mid range estimate of £189 million. This was based on an initial assessment of the cost of A5-M1 Link following the decision to change M1 J10-13 from a widening to Managed Motorways scheme with the resulting transfer of some statutory diversion and structure works at Junction 11A to the A5-M1 scheme.
Mrs Villiers: As part of the coalition Government's commitment to prudent spending, work to create an additional platform and new ticket hall at Bedford will be deferred as these facilities are not needed until the London Bridge station redevelopment is completed. This work is currently scheduled to be completed at the end of 2016.
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